'Passionate' Brown wants more

GEORGE HEAGNEY
Last updated 12:30 13/12/2012
brown
MURRAY WILSON/FairfaxNZ
Manawatu's tournament director Jeff Brown keeps an eye on new international umpire Lucy Townend during last night's test at Fitzherbert Park.

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One Manawatu official may have reached the top of his game, but he still has ambitions to go further.

Jeff Brown has just returned from the Champions Trophy in Melbourne, where he was the technical official, the second in command, for the international hockey tournament.

He was also tournament director for the two women's Black Sticks tests against India in Palmerston North this week, and still has a desire to continue working at top-level events around the world.

"I'm passionate about hockey," he said. "It's a two-edged coin.

"If I don't get any further appointments at all, what I've just been to is something to tell the grandchildren about. But I'd be keen to jump at any further chances."

Brown said it was "basically a case of who knows?" when or if he would be chosen to run another tournament. It is up to the Federation of International Hockey in Lausanne, Switzerland, to make appointments.

The feedback from his performance in Melbourne was positive, which is a good sign for him getting another job.

"They were pretty favourable, more than favourable. I was pretty chuffed to have an opportunity to be there, but also to perform well."

A career highlight was when he was judge for the men's gold medal match at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010, but the Champions Trophy was also special.

"It was a pretty illustrious appointment; there are only a couple of things higher that that, a World Cup or Olympics. It was awesome, hard work but a really fantastic tournament. The top eight teams in the world going hammer and tongs at each other."

There will be a few different world leagues next year, as countries try to qualify for the World Cup in 2014, but who gets to officiate those "depends on who gets the nod and who's been ranked favourably", Brown says.

As a paediatrician, it is hard for him to get time off for these trips.

He also has a long history as an umpire, and while the FIH prefers to have younger people umpiring at the top level, Brown isn't showing many signs of stopping just yet, as he tries to keep his body and mind active. In August, he went to the inaugural masters world championships in Kent, England and ended up umpiring the final.

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